The recipe I'm going to share with you today is inspired by the seasonal fare that was dazzling my eyes all weekend long, as I hit up both the Burbank and Mar Vista Farmers Market. My goal here was to really let the natural flavors, textures and colors of the veggies shine through, without drowning them out with additional seasonings. The dish turned out better than I could have imagined! It served 2 as a main dish, but you could always serve it as a side dish for 4, paired with a lovely grain salad and perhaps some grilled portobello mushroom caps or artichokes.
Sommer's Spring has Sprung Sauté
What you'll need
1/2 cup of so of low sodium veggie broth
1 bunch of turnips, with tops (I used some beautiful Japanese Turnips from the Mar Vista Market!), slice the white roots into coins and wash and chop the greens
2 carrots, sliced into coins
1 tomato, roughly diced
1 zucchini, quartered and sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 LB of Fresh Fava Beans, see below for preparation instructions
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup of mixed herbs, roughly chopped (I used Mint, Parsley and Dill)
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup toasted almonds, for garnish
2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for garnish
Salt and Pepper to taste
What you do
Let's get the most time-consuming thing out of the way first - the Fava bans. If you've never had fresh Fava beans before, do yourself a favor and try them! They are amazing! Just like with English Peas, you need to first get the beans out of their pod. Snap the end of of a pod and pull the string like fiber down along the seam and repeat at the other end. This should allow you to open up the pods and pop the beans out. There should be about 4-5 Beans per pod. After you've extracted all your beans, get a pot of water to a roiling boil, and then blanch your beans for 30-60 seconds. Drain, strain, and set aside to cool. You can take this opportunity to prep your other ingredients as directed above. The recipe actually come together quite quickly once you've finished the beans.
Once your beans have cooled, you will notice that their skin is slightly green/gray-ish and that they look a little wrinkly. Bean by bean, you will need to remove this "outer" skin to reveal the sweet, bright green actual bean inside. I took a pic so you can see the difference.....
Put about 1/4 cup of veggie stock into a big pot over medium low heat and add your carrot coins. Place a lid on top so that the carrots start to steam, maybe 5 minutes or so. Test them with a fork at this point to see how they're coming along.
Now add your turnip coins and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes, adding more veggie stock if you need, to prevent any sticking. Once your roots have gotten a little tender (but not mushy!) go ahead and add in your zucchini, tomato and garlic, mixing to incorporate. Give it another couple of minutes, so that the garlic gets aromatic and the tomatoes are just starting to break down a tiny bit, and then add your Favas and your turnip greens. You can put the lid back on for a minute to help things steam but make sure you don't over cook!
At this point, turn the heat off, squeeze in your lemon juice, toss in the zest, herbs and green onions and stir everything together. Your kitchen should smell pretty much incredible by now.
Plate up your sauté and then garnish with toasted almonds and the olive oil. Take a little taste test and then use salt and pepper to seal the deal.
I really encourage you to substitute and play with this one. Can't find Fava Beans? Try green beans or asparagus instead! Ooooh, is that fresh organic corn at the market? Slice it off the cob and try adding it! Mix things up by using a different combination of herbs, or throw a little diced red pepper into the mix! Basically, whatever catches your eye at the market, the chances are pretty good that you can find a way to incorporate it into this recipe!
'Til next week, Bon Appetit and Namaste!